Have a hot idea for a play? Start typing. Deadlines are fast approaching for several local playwriting competitions and not a few national ones. Scripts as short as 10 minutes are wanted by some contests. Others offer large cash prizes for full-length plays. The secret to winning one of these? Getting all the way to "the end" on the last page of your play. So come on, hurry up!
WaterTower Theatre in Addison is now accepting applications for the 2012 Out of the Loop Fringe Festival, which happens next March. The event features original plays written and performed by theater troupes and individuals from the Dallas area and beyond, performing in three venues at the Addison Theatre Centre. Visit watertowertheatre.org for more info and to download the application. The cut-off date for applications is November 15. WaterTower says the amount of stipends paid for full-length productions will be going up for the next fest. Special consideration will be given to plays that can be performed in under an hour.
Stage West recently announced the winner of its Fifth Annual Texas Playwriting Contest. Five scripts were chosen out of 36 entries, with first place going to Fort Worth writer Laura Lundgren Smith for her play Seamless. For this contest, playwrights must have lived in Texas for at least two years. The first-place winner gets a cash prize and a professional reading and workshop during Stage West's New Play Festival in February. Submissions for the sixth annual contest can begin January 1, with a deadline of April 15, 2012. Check stagewest.org for more info on how to submit.
Denton Community Theatre is hosting a playwriting competition for new one-act plays under 70 minutes in length, focusing on mental health issues and the human condition. Deadline is January 14, 2012. There's a submission fee of $25. To enter, submit this form.
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The National Ten-Minute Play Contest held by the Actors Theatre of Louisville gives eight to 10 winners a full produced staging. For this one, characters must be in the age range of 18-28. Deadline for submission is November 1. Only the first 500 scripts will be considered and you may submit only one script. Scripts are limited to 10 pages and must not have been produced before. Winners can receive up to $1000 in prize money. There are lots more rules and directions for how and where to submit your play.
The 2012 Sundance Institute Theatre Lab is a three-week play development retreat held at the Sundance Resort in Utah's Wasatch Mountains. There, playwrights, directors, composers and librettists develop new work with the support of dramaturges and full casts. Operated under the umbrella of Sundance Institute, founded by Robert Redford, the Theatre Lab offers a community for artists to engage, ask questions, work on scripts and take risks. Playwrights, directors, composers, performance artists and choreographers may apply to take part in the next lab. Some 700 projects are considered, with an emphasis on original, daring work. Each participant receives a $1500 honorarium. Deadline for submissions is November 15. For complete details, email email@example.com or visit their web site.
The National New Play Network, which includes Kitchen Dog Theater among the companies that premiere their winning scripts, is inviting submissions of full-length, non-musical plays. Winners of the Smith Prize in this contest receive $5,000 and production of the winning play. To be eligible, your play must address American politics, asking such questions as: Who are we as Americans? What are we becoming? And what are America's global responsibilities? Plays are judged blindly (without the writer's name on them). For more info on this one, visit the program page and the support website.